Monthly Archives: November 2012
I promised myself I wouldn’t waste loads of time on Betsfactor this year, but when your friends start texting you about it and then you see the stats gradually creeping up, you get carried away.
Fans of Betsfactor in 2011 will remember our superb, world famous, patented, innovative “Traffic Light” system, where we gave the contestants Red, Amber or Green depending on our opinion of their level of bottom two danger.
I think this is the best way of separating the contestants and, more importantly, being nice and vague about who’s in trouble. I’ve only done this having seen the show once, so I might have missed something!
Rylan and Union J are the two targets.
Christopher and James A are the back up plans. James A will be saved unless he’s with Jahmene so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he hits the bottom two, because, surely(!) that would propel him into the final – maybe this is why they have been “mixing it up a bit” with the staging this week. Can’t really explain that one!
If they can get rid of Christopher, they will, but a Christopher in the final wouldn’t be the end of the world either, as it’ll get ratings and press etc etc.
JAMES ARTHUR – AMBER
* If putting loads of moving shots of James Arthur on the screen behind him, meant it was bottom two last week, why would you do it again – TWICE, combined with hints of Red and Black each time?
* Last time I saw a disinterested band during a performance was when Janet Devlin was nuked.
* Vocally, I thought he was excellent, funny bit with him during the ITV2 show as well, showed a humorous side, plus he was in the bottom two last week, which should see him safe this week.
* In one VT he said he wanted to win on behalf of Ella “I kind of want to do it for her, in a way as well, because I think she deserves to be there”. This statement makes little logical sense, but that’s not going to bother Abigal Goth in Huddersfield.
I’d say he’s on the green side of Amber, but with the staging reservations.
UNION J – RED
* If Union J survive, they will survive the biggest, messiest Red and Blacking in X Factor history! I shrieked with laughter when I saw it. It was a sort of high pitched guffaw.
* Positive comments could mean you don’t need to pick up the phone (although the Ellashock could motivate everyone), a totally forgettable performance, I can’t even remember what they sung for either performance whilst I write this.
* Expendable, forgettable and in trouble. Very Kye.
RYLAN – RED
* What’s the overriding image we have subliminally etched into our brain during Rylan’s first VT? Rylan = Turkey shit.
* Absolutely terrible styling that makes it look like his arm is in a pink sling in the second shot and a horrible black and white checked thing wasn’t pleasant. Messy, zero backing singer support – the party’s over.
* I talked on Sofabet about the importance of running order this evening, he was placed 1st and 7th, Union J 2nd and 6th. These are the more negative slots traditionally in five contestant, two song episodes.
* They kept the banter down this week. Banter got him through last weekl; Gary agreed with Betsfactor on ITV2 later.
* Tulisa and Louis went from hot to lukewarm, to help them credibly ditch him if needs be.
JAHMENE – GREEN
* Jahmene loves his mum, would do anything for her and wants to look after her. Taking her to a courageous women awards gently reminds us of his backstory. I don’t even need to mention that giant “name in lights” for the second performance do I!
* Abba and Motown delight the demo.
* CHRISTOPHER – AMBER
* Difficult to know what the negative press coverage will do for him today, so I am very very unsure. If I had to call it, I’d say he’ll hit safety.
* They are drip dropping that he’s full of himself, with some deliberate bits in the VT to make him appear arrogant “It’s not my fault is it”, about people not voting for Ella.
* The whole X Factor team seem irritated with Christopher, they just don’t appear to like him. Even Dermot expressed frustration tonight. He also didn’t want to give him long to ramble on about how generous the public were etc, possibly because of timing.
* During the VT at the top of the show, they cut Gary Barlow out of context and just made it look like he was endorsing James Arthur to win!
* He looks Bullied! Read this. I could write an IDENTICAL article again this week. Just stupid, utterly stupid. The VT’s were much much harsher, they toned down the staging but made it look strange. Once again the production team set everything up for a nuking, and the humans screwed it up by pointing it all out again! Absolutely Staggering. In the olden days the judges would pretend that they decided on the staging, these days they don’t take responsibility.
* Shots of Louis sniggering won’t help with bullying thoughts either. Christopher’s pleasant, dignified stance on stage makes him even more of the victim. That’s the bit they can’t control.
* There was a (probably accidental) very subliminal star during Christopher’s second performance!
The bullying thing is the main reason why I think he could survive.
I’ve said enough this year I think, I’ll pop up on Sofabet at some point soon and maybe also do something for the final! Maybe!
# 3 – Ella’s in “Serious Trouble”
We’re looking at those three incredibly accurate predictions made on the world’s greatest TV betting blog last week. Prophecies.
If you haven’t read the absolutely brilliant “Star Crazy” Day on Betsfactor, go and have a gander first. Make sure you keep the disclaimer about hindsight in mind, but I promise you, this was my thinking (albeit unsure) on Saturday night.
One question that’s popped up a couple of times….
Are you saying stars help or hinder contestants. You seem to be saying they helped Marcus, but they didn’t help Ella!?
Firstly, I am not saying that stars even work at all necessarily. I think, THEY think that they might help a little bit. They simply come out when producers are up to something. It’s one of many many many many many things to look out for. Many.
Secondly, as we keep saying, there are stacks of red flags, and often those BRFAA’s will sound unhelpfully on all the contestants! It’s about context, and looking at how the other contestants have done.
Third, they can pull out all the stops, but other things can happen to make it go wrong.
We agree that they used LOADS of stars on Saturday. That’s the fact, so you then have to ask “Why?”
Don’t just think “They use stars because they are at risk” or “they use stars to get someone to the final”.
Think, “They ARE using stars. Why?”
Now, in this particular context they are using stars…
– Half way through a series
– In a pretty OTT way
It all looks a bit desperate to me.
There is simply no good reason to be burning up stars in the middle of November. She is very likely to be in trouble.
When she then sang a really ropey song, it suggests:
– Her votes are already depressed and have been for a bit.
– In my view, this song is really poor.
Plus, loads of other things have happened last week that will propel her main rivals out of the bottom two.
Rylan was meant to be bottom two this week, but his genuinely amusing remarks will have kept him safe. Christopher was meant to be bottom two this week, but his nuking failed. Union J were surprisingly pushed, I can’t really work out why. The staging was mediocre, but they looked hot in their suits, and the key was the outrageous “one direction” backing vocals which were pumped up to the max. I think Louis has his eye on these guys as the next Westlife. I think he likes the idea of them being “the boyband your mum likes”, hence the Burtons gold card membership for each of them.
The solo vocals were on point and they are clearly hot guys. #manlove. If you want to nuke someone, you don’t delight the demo with one of the most played records on commercial radio this year. I suspect they just wanted to make sure that there was a space in the bottom two for Christopher or Rylan. Unfortunately the wrong people fell into the holes.
So we only have Jahmene, James and Ella left. They wouldn’t be using stars at this point if Ella was way ahead. Have you seen loads of stars around Jahmene? I’ve seen a couple, but nothing as star crazy as Ella’s treatment.
In my mind having scanned through on Saturday night, the voting was something like Jahmene, Rylan, James, Union J, Christopher, Ella.
That’s why I reckoned Ella was in trouble.
We’re looking at the three prophecies today on Betsfactor.
#2 They screwed up the nuking of Christopher.
The producers can edit VT’s, choose staging, pick dodgy songs, but the one thing they can’t control is humans. They couldn’t control Rylan’s humorous quips (although they might ask him to tone it down, or point out that they will be short of time so “no time for banter this week”), equally they couldn’t control what the judges said to Christopher.
Firstly, “The two most feared words in this building, Christopher Maloney“, was not the wisest way of introducing him. “Building” implied everyone was against him, not just the judges.
They put Christopher’s giant pixelated face behind him, with bright eyes and made him look creepy and weird. Funny as this was, this was going too far; the judges and Dermot both picked up on it and tried to ask Christopher what it was all about. Quick as a flash Christopher points out to Nicole “I’m not responsible for that” and even the most casual viewer is alerted to the idea that the producers might deliberately select the background and the staging. Gary Barlow then talks about “what’s going on behind you” and points out “it wasn’t your fault, certainly wasn’t mine.”
Just to really hammer it home Dermot asks “yeah, what was with that disintegrating face with torches for eyes”. Dermot should be given a written warning for that! He should know better!!
This is one of the first times I’ve noticed this happen, where the actual video background (not the staging or dancers) is highlighted as being out of the control of the judges and contestants. Another black mark against the franchise, which they managed to tarnish so well last year. Very very silly and it’s going to make pre-planned nukings harder as producers get more paranoid about “over doing it”.
I don’t need to point out that this is likely to encourage his supporters to vote for him, as everyone seems against him etc etc.
The red and back space debris floating around near his head, with virtually no staging should have helped send him down, especially with an average 80’s song and only six contestants remaining. The judges probably were also aware that they needed to say positive things to imply that he was safe, equally they needed to keep it real and point out that they didn’t like him. They didn’t do this very well.
They went for him this week, but on this occasion, the humans screwed it up.
My verdict on Saturday night was “unsure” as to how he was going to perform in the voting, but that they had definitely screwed it up!
Last Saturday, despite me barely watching the show for 20 minutes I made three statements.*
Rylan’s Safe – This astonishing statement* was made, despite the markets deciding he was favourite to go.
Ella’s in serious trouble – This even more staggering statement* was made, despite her being second favourite to win the competition
They screwed up Christopher’s nuking – I made some vague hunch about him maybe being fifth.
Amazingly I got two and a half right. (I was guaranteed the half whatever happened…!)
I was going against the grain. This wasn’t me saying there will be “an expensive phone in competition during the show” or “you’ll see a Samsung tablet used during the show”, this was me sticking my neck out against the thousands of other people backing Rylan to go and Ella to stay.
Yet again, the world’s greatest TV betting blog delivered. YET AGAIN.
Today we’re looking at the other three prophecies and explaining the thinking behind each one.
A few years back, (2005 – thanks Wikipedia), I was surprised to see the X Factor win a British Comedy Award. Cowell’s putdowns were thrown together in a compilation and you realised that it was actually a funny show. These days it isn’t. The comedy from the “please don’t laugh, I must not laugh, this is not funny” moments, those gems that arise from the intimacy of the audition room have been ripped out. Instead we get a shiny stage and an arena filled with 5000 screaming unemployed people and students free on a Tuesday afternoon, mixed with “witty putdowns” from er… Gary Barlow.
Whether you like him or not, Rylan comes across as a witty, fun guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously.
For instance, “I’m hoping that everyone’s babies that I held get on them phones and vote for me because…. <beat> “I didn’t drop your child”.
Is a funny line…! If slightly questionable, grammatically.
The idea was for Rylan to hit the bottom two last week; the staging was average, the songs they gave him were especially naff, the whole performance just lacked a little bit of “wow” and it all looked a bit of a mess.
What’s the one memory you have of Rylan’s 10 minutes? He effectively called Gary Barlow, or the GB from the 90’s, fat. The first time I’ve ever seen someone do that, to his face, on national television. He was quick as a flash with a one-liner that had the whole studio in delighted cheers. That was one of the stand out moments of the series, the bit that might well be played out on compilation clips of the X Factor on award shows in 2013 and also the bit that they will use for this year’s entry into the British Comedy Awards. People are suggesting that it was scripted, which I’d suggest is nonsense; certainly Gary and Dermot had no idea it was coming, because you can see Gary working out how he should react. The other judges reacted exactly as Cowell would have wanted, whilst upstairs the gallery were frantically trying to get all the shots: of Rylan- now messing around on the treadmill, Louis and Tulisa bowing down to Rylan, Gary standing up and threatening to come on stage, Dermot trying to keep control and encourage Gary on stage….
What happened just seconds after this amusing and entertaining moment? A giant 090 20 50 51 04 flashed onto the screen, Rylan laughed, did a little twirl, and grinned his cheeky snow white teeth into the camera, as thousands of people picked up their phones.
Safe as houses.
* Note these are now “statements” rather than the vague hunches they were being billed as seven days ago.
Hope you’ve enjoyed Star Crazy Day on Betsfactor. If you’ve just arrived – there are so many amazing stars to see. It’s now a really clear night. Start here. It’s important to read it in order, so start at the bottom and work up.
Give this another watch. It really amused me this morning. Literally it explains everything!
Later in the week, we briefly look at those other two prophetic statements:
– Rylan’s Safe
– They screwed up Christopher’s nuking.
Then I’ll pop up on Sofabet at some point soon. If you love all this analysis I’d urge you to go and check them out, the main writers are are lovely guys; the community in the comments section were good last year, but this year are excellent. Some really really sharp people are commenting, and I’d urge you to check it out for a daily fix of X Factor betting chatter.
Any questions or thoughts – don’t be shy, say hello here. To find out when new articles go live it’s @straffon on Twitter.
I’m looking forward to seeing some gorgeous sunrises soon.
The ones around the beginning of December are especially beautiful.
You’re not going to miss any more stars now are you!?
School’s Out. It’s Home Time. Here’s Home Town.
I love James Arthurs shirt.
Welcome to Betsfactor’s absolutely sensational STAR CRAZY day. This is the blog that…. (you know this by now).
This is why I felt Ella was in “serious trouble”.
I know any idiot can say this, and we have the benefit of hindsight – but I rushed to a wedding, I scanned through the show… On a different week, I would have put some of the Betsfactor Bank on Ella to hit the bottom two.
Why? It’s written in the stars.
I think you’re going to read this quite sceptically, but bear in mind that I don’t know if this star thing actually works, I don’t really care – all it does is give clues to the producers intentions. Knowing my luck, they will, of course, stuff stars all over Rylan and Christopher next week, but they’ll be “mixing it up a bit“!
Let’s have a look at last year. The following is just opinion, a point of view – based on absolutely no insider knowledge, so take all this with a massive pinch of salt. It’s a theory.
Last year’s show was WAY more shambolic than this year. It was the year they started ruining the franchise with crackpot twists and countless manufactured boybands. Amelia, who you might remember had been ditched, was voted back in half way through for no good reason. Imagine if she’d gone on to win?! It would have been an absolute disaster for the show. The public weren’t really loving Misha B, despite her talent. It was also critical that they nobble Janet, as they didn’t want her winning for a number of reasons. They really wanted Little Mix to win.
Marcus was the safe, dependable bet that they decided to back for the final, once they chose to get rid of Craig.
Here are the voting percentages.
Movie Night: Little Mix 26 / Misha 22 /Janet 15 / Marcus 14 / Amelia 11 / Craig 11.
Marcus is dangerously close to the bottom two AND they are so so close to getting Janet in the bottom two… At this point they must have been scratching their heads. “We gave him a choir, a great great staging, we made him look like Jesus Christ and we stuck him on last.” What are they doing wrong? Remember, the team at Betsfactor.com can’t see the vote stats until after the series ends, so we were thinking “Yeah, Marcus will have topped the vote with that one”. Fact was, he was just 3 points off the bottom two, despite being the second coming.
So what did they do when his vote was heavily depressed, despite throwing the kitchen sink at him that week?
All the stars came out.
It was THEN that they wheeled out all the silly stars, to try and boost his vote. Now you’re probably smirking, I’m NOT, repeat NOT, saying that “It was the Star wot won it” but this is just ONE signal of many.
When the stars came out, he survived the guilty pleasures week, with the red star and piano.
Amelia 24 / LM 22 / Marcus 21 / Janet 18 / Misha 15.
When it was more OTT for the semi final, he again survived, despite some very average performances. But that subliminal sun was beating down on Marcus…
LM 34 / Marcus 24 / Amelia 21 / Misha 20
The stars helped. Maybe they worked.
So, last year, the stars came out when someone needed a boost. They helped take Marcus from 14%, to 21%, to 24%. If I was a producer wanting to get rid of Christopher and Rylan and keep Ella, I’d be looking at that saying, well, who cares if it works or not, let’s get Ella a giant star tattoo on her entire face. It doesn’t matter if she’s wearing a square necklace or a star necklace to that premiere, so it might as well be a star one.
Do you agree that the number of stars on Saturday was crazy?
That she was just plastered in stars, the dress, the nails, the necklace, the references on the autocue(?) when Tulisa introduced her, the golden stars on the floor, the white stars behind her, the golden stars behind her, the star patterns on the side wall…?
Add that to singing about stars with a star guitar the week before.
It was Star Crazy.
It was desperate.
They should be saving their stars for the semi finals, not burning them out half way through the series.
That is what made me think she was in big trouble – (I look forward to the stats coming out in a few weeks and me being proved wrong!)
Add to that the song choice. Which was a complete mess.
I think they tried to be too clever, Grease is an absolute “delight the demo” movie though. Perfect for that broad “mum” demographic we talked about a few weeks back. I suspect they thought that this version would be that “wow moment” from the series and mixed with the star boost, they could shove her clear of the bottom two (where I suspect she’s been floating near recently).
But when you try to be too clever, you confuse the audience. I wonder if many rather shrugged their shoulders and didn’t really “get” the song. Meanwhile, Union J were chirping along to that summer feelgood favourite ‘Call Me Maybe’ and Rylan was unintentionally getting the show a British Comedy Award nomination. This all then needs to be seen in the context of the other contestants. Especially Christopher, Union J and Rylan. Which we will look at later in the week.
The stars were a major =SELL= signal. The mediocre song choice and gaffes the producers made nuking other contestants, meant the BRFAA’s were flying in the wind as I drove up the M6.
Ella was deliberately plastered in stars. When you look back to X Factor History, the last time it happened, it was after a “wow” moment had failed to ignite.
Firework was meant to be that moment.
I wonder if the fuse just didn’t light, and Ella’s rocket was left with a family of producers wondering if they should return to it and try and relight it.
That’s why I felt she was in serious trouble.
Don’t leave me now
Yeah you and me we can ride on a star
If you stay with me girl, we can rule the world
Yeah you and me we can light up the sky
If you stay by my side, we can rule the world.
All the stars are coming out tonight
They’re lighting up the sky tonight
Midnight – Home Time.
It’s another incredible Betsfactor special day… If you’ve just arrived, there’s so much for you to enjoy. History, more history and science. To the regular readers, thanks for the e mails, it’s all a laugh isn’t it!
Galaxies contain huge amounts of star systems. The biggest galaxies are thought to have a hundred trillion stars in, which is rather similar to last weekend’s X Factor.
When the sun goes down, and the lights burn out
Then it’s time for you to shine.
Brighter than the shooting star.
Let’s look at how many stars we’ve spotted in the X Factor Galaxy so far….
– Matt Cardle’s beautiful Sunshirt.
– The semi final sun behind Marcus.
– The semi final sun behind Rebecca.
– The semi final sun behind One Direction.
– The final final sunrise for Little Mix.
– Marcus “popstar popstar popstar”.
– Marcus and the red piano star.
– That lovely star ring on Marcus’s hand.
– The star jumper (tenious!).
I bet there are LOADS and LOADS more, if we get Jodrell Bank aligned properly.
– Ella singing “Written in the Stars”.
– The references to “little star”
– Did you spot the special “Star Guitar” during that performance!
It just went “Star Crazy”.
– As soon as I saw Ella’s delightful Gold Star Dress, I laughed.
– There are at least THREE different star designs in the background, including that golden black hole that they didn’t intend for her to get sucked into.
– What are those golden stars doing on the floor?
– What’s this on Ella’s neck? With a massive hat tip to Andrew at Sofabet who spotted that one as well!
– This one’s a bit shaky, and feel free to scoff at this one, but I reckon those could be stars on her nails!
I’m probably reading too much into it all. Must just be coincidence.
There is, of course, one more star to mention. If you didn’t spot it, you’ve really really really let me down. I spend ages typing this drivel up, purely for your entertainment. I’ll reveal it in an hour.
One question that came in a lot (once) on the feedback forms,
“What’s all this got to do with Marcus?“.
It’s a great question. We’ve still got our late night maths class to come….
Betsfactor.com – Hyping. Delivering.
Next: Maths. 14 – 21 – 24
Midnight: Home Time.
Betsfactor has just re-emerged from the horizon, back for a special day bathed in sunshine, starring Ella.
If you’re late – start by reading this and progress from there.
I like Ella, she’s clearly talented, but in my view, she’s about three years too early for the show. Alexandra Burke was rejected the first time, and came back to win the show a couple of years later. They maybe should have done this with Ella, but the talent pool is starting to dry up and the show might not even be around in three years, so Ella was pushed forward. A 19 year old Ella, with more life experience, more to say, and a little more practise, could easily win the show. For me, from Rule the World onwards, there were too many pitchy moments and strange “arty” arrangements of songs. Here’s what I wrote on Sofabet a few weeks back about Ella… And that you should oppose her!
So how does all this star stuff relate to Ella? She’s lost!?
The producers have gone Star Crazy with Ella in the last couple of weeks. To a pretty ridiculous extent.
Once you start looking for them, you start going… er…. this is CRAZY. This is STAR CRAZY!
They even gave her a song about stars last week….
They STARted in Week One, with this performance.
In my view, this was just to get her vote up to a decent start and she was singing about stars anyway, so let’s not read too much into that week… but you’ll notice the star,with lights during the performance, and her in the centre yadda yadda.
Week six was when they started to get worried in my view…. and started to wheel out the stars. I reckon she started slipping in the polls around week five.
– Tulisa introduced her with “make some noise for my little star – Ella Henderson”. This intro is quite likely to have been scripted.
– Ella then went on screen and sang about stars!
– Just for extra measure though…. we need a hidden subliminal star. Otherwise we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Can you spot them!?
It’s 3pm – Science Homework time… Let’s move to week seven. It’s time to sit in a darkened room. Give your eyes time to adjust, because when you do that, the stars start to shine brightly. You start seeing stars that you never believed you’d see. Beautiful stars.
Why not pick the HD option by the way….
How many can you spot? For homework, fill in the form, say hello; if you’re not a friend of mine, don’t be shy – you can invent a name if you don’t want to admit you’ve been reading this rubbish all afternoon. We’ll have a “Hall of Fame” or “Galaxy of star spotters” at 9pm.
I’m sure it’s all just coincidence. I THINK I’ve got five from that performance and one from elsewhere. But two are questionable!
COMING UP on STAR CRAZY DAY….
9pm – Science Results
10pm – Maths. 14-21-24
Midnight – Home Time
Welcome back to Star Crazy Day on Betsfactor. If you’re late to class, start here and pop back in a sec!
1pm – New History
It was about 9:30pm 12th Dec 2011, my little fat red face was getting redder. I was turning the colour of Little Mix’s set. Sweat was starting to form on my brow. Was the reputation of this fantastic blog about to set?
Amused texts and tweets were buzzing through. Were Little Mix being “red and blacked” on the final song, of the final final?
I started to panic. “Hold your nerve Richard. Betsfactor is universally acknowledged to be the planet’s greatest TV betting blog, you know that. You will be nominated for that OBE. Listen to what Pery’s singing to you Richard ‘Come on courage teach me to be shy…’, it’s going to be fine.”
My heart was racing. I normally win £6.30 with my ‘Sunday driver’ style stakes, this would be a £1000 win from a total stake of about £20. That might be small fry to those guys at Sofabet… To me though, it’s not about the £1000, it’s about the 1000 posts I can write afterwards in a blaze of self congratulatory glory.
Then, suddenly, I realised, that red sky in the morning is not a warning.
It was as clear as Night and Day.
Marcus was put on in the middle of the night…
And were there any stars in his final sky!? Er. No. How Strange! And were there any stars on the suitcases from that ridiculous 747 he was about to crash land, the day before? Er. No.
So what was going on?
A new dawn is used again and again by the X Factor producers. Blues and golds and whites are used to promote people they want to win. The stars often come out in the final few weeks to give the chosen ones a boost… a rocket… like the one little Ella was riding .
Let’s take just one episode, from one year.
The Semi Final of 2010 was when they got most desperate. Mary Byrne AND Cher Lloyd in the final? Simon’s dreams of making One Direction the first billion dollar boyband sunk by a load of housewives in Doncaster, voting for a dinnerlady?
No way, it’s time to let the sun shine….
What’s that behind Rebecca?
What’s that shining behind One Direction?
And, can we spot something here – a slightly less obvious sun?
Noooooo….. Go back and actually click on the video. Don’t be lazy. I’m NOT talking about the background!
What’s strange is I can’t see any stars beaming down in Mary’s performance?
And…. just for good measure who did they decide to Kye Fawkes? Who was sent up in flames? Watch all of this!
Just so you know, the three contestants given the universe’s biggest star made the final. The two who didn’t hit the bottom two.
What an absolutely astonishing coincidence.
A new dawn. And this was just ONE episode of ONE series!
The planet’s greatest TV betting blog continues with Star Crazy at 3pm. We’re having a science lesson.
So what’s all this got to do with Ella?